Today, on the 33rd anniversary of the introduction of Medicare, Sharon Bird officially opened the new Primary Medical Centre Corrimal which will help to provide much needed health care in the northern suburbs of Wollongong.

Sharon Bird said that many people had difficulty accessing bulk billing doctors in the northern suburbs and that the new bulk-billing centre would help local residents to access affordable services.

33 years ago Medicare commenced under the Labor Hawke Government, ensuring that every Australian could access quality health care no matter their circumstances.  This changed the nature of health care in this country.

“We rely on Medicare to ensure that everyone has access to universal health care – our system is the envy of many countries around the world,” Sharon Bird said.

“Medicare ensures people can access life-saving treatment when they need it. Last year around 21 million Australians accessed Medicare services – including GP visits, vital tests and scans, and hospital treatments.”

“I am proud of Labor’s history in introducing Medicare and Labor will always fight to protect Medicare.  We need to ensure that access to health care is determined by an individual’s Medicare card – not their credit card. 

“We don’t want our health care system to go down the path of America’s, where an individual’s capacity to pay determines whether they get the treatment they need.

Sharon Bird called on Malcolm Turnbull to give Medicare the ultimate birthday present by dropping his cuts which will see bulk billing rates drop and residents in the Illawarra pay more.